Graduate Council Minutes

Graduate Council                                    
January 24, 2007            
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Attendees: Charles Taber (Political Science and Chair, Graduate Council), Estie Arkin (Applied Mathematics and Statistics), Debra Caffrey (Graduate School), Peter Gergen (Graduate School), Godlind Johnson (Library), Kent Marks (Graduate School), Celia Marshik (English), Lawrence Martin (Dean, Graduate School), Anne McElroy (MSRC), Arleen Steckel (Nursing School), Andrei Antonenko (GSO), Allegra DeLaurentiis (Philosophy), Beverly Campbell (Pharmacology), Marcia Simon (Dental School)

Absent Members:        
Susan O’Leary (Psychology), Brian Phillips (Geosciences), I.V. Ramakrishnan (Computer Science)

The meeting was called to order at 8:45 a.m. by the Graduate Council Chair, Charles Taber.

Approval of minutes
The minutes from the December 5, 2006 meeting were approved.

Chair’s Report

  • Meeting Schedule: Charles proposed a new meeting time for all future Graduate Council meetings. All agreed that future meetings would commence at 9:00 a.m. and end at 10:15 a.m.
  • Ethics Course, Integrity in Sciences Report: Several concerns about the Integrity in Sciences program were brought to discussion. The feasibility of accommodating the large amount of students was paramount in the discussion. Charles stressed that the goal is to move towards a modular approach to the course, and the Council agreed that it is valuable for all students to participate. It was proposed that a small Task Force should be established and charged with creating a reasonable plan to achieve this. This was placed on the agenda for the next meeting, and all Council members were asked to prepare accordingly.

Old Business

  • Confidentiality of GCAC Meetings and Reports: As determined at the last meeting, Charles drafted a confidentiality statement and presented it to the Council. It was suggested that a witness signature be included. All were in favor of adopting the document. It was agreed that the Graduate School policy concerning appeal processes be modified to reflect the requirement of a confidentiality and that this be put on the relevant webpage. Kent Marks will make these changes.

New Business

  • Proposal for MA in Africana Studies: The main concern with the proposal involved resource issues. The Council agreed that more specific information is needed regarding the course load of the involved faculty. Additionally, it is not clear how the proposed courses that are cross-listed with other programs would influence these other programs. It was determined that Charles Taber and Peter Gergen will meet with the individuals proposing this program in order to discuss the requested amendments in more depth.
  • Topics to Discuss with Provost: The issue that is most crucial is that of Stony Brook’s “competitive package” for graduate students, which encompasses both a raise in stipends as well as affordable housing that can accommodate spouses and children.

Dean’s Report

  • Turner Fellowship Program: It was announced that Ms. Nina Maung will be heading the Turner program. The program will continue to be overseen by the Graduate School, but will be housed in the Center for Inclusive Education in the Melville Library.
  • NRC Update: Lawrence reported that program surveys are due shortly from Program Directors.
  • TA Funding: 50 additional lines for 2007/2008 TA positions have been approved.
  • Annual Report on Tuition from Research Grant Funding: Lawrence distributed a summary report on tuition on research grants.
  • Academic Analytics: Academic Analytics was featured in a cover story in the 1/12/07 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, which, among other highlights, illustrated Stony Brook University’s high ranking amongst research institutions.
  • University Café: The GSO can no longer support the University Café, but strides will continue to be made to increase business. The Café will be open weekdays through the Spring semester.
  • Turner Symposium: A symposium will be planned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Turner Fellowship Program, and will focus on honoring alumni and highlighting programs. In addition, W. Burghardt Turner will be receiving an honorary degree.
  • PRC/Korea program: It was announced that interviews of Graduate Program applicants from China and Korea will take place in February. Coordination of these interviews is currently under way.

Meeting adjourned at 10:10 a.m.
Submitted by Debra Caffrey
Staff Assistant, The Graduate School